Endodontic Information
Root Canal Therapy

What is a root canal therapy?

    A root canal therapy is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year.  This treatment can save your natural teeth which might otherwise have to be removed.

Inside the tooth, under the white enamel and a hard layer called dentin, is a soft tissue called the pulp. The pulp contains blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue that creates the surrounding hard tissues of the tooth during development.  Inflammation or infection of the pulp can be caused by trauma to the tooth, deep decay, cracks or repeated dental procedures.  If pulp inflammation or infection is left untreated, it can cause pain or lead to abscess.  Symptoms of pulp damage include prolong sensitivity to heat or cold, swelling and tenderness in the nearby gums.

How is a root canal therapy performed?  If you experience any of these symptoms, your dentist will most likely recommend root canal treatment to eliminate the diseased pulp.  Once you are completely numb, this injured pulp is removed and the root canal system is thoroughly cleaned and sealed.  This therapy usually involves local anesthesia and may be completed in one visit depending on the treatment required.  Success for this type of treatment occurs in about 96% of cases.  If your tooth is not amenable to endodontic treatment or the chance of success is unfavorable, you will be informed at the time of consultation or when a complication becomes evident during or after treatment.  We use local anesthesia to eliminate discomfort.  You will be able to drive home after your treatment, and you probably will be comfortable returning to your normal routine.

What happens after the procedure?  When your root canal therapy has been completed, a record of your treatment will be sent to your restorative dentist.  You should contact their office for a follow-up restoration within a few weeks of completion at our office.  Your restorative dentist will decide on what type of restoration is necessary to protect your tooth.  It is rare for endodontic patients to experience complications after routine endodontic treatment or microsurgery.  If a problem does occur, however, we are available at all times to respond.  To prevent further decay, continue to practice good dental hygiene.

How much will the procedure cost?  The cost associated with this procedure can vary depending on factors such as the severity of damage to the affected tooth and which tooth is affected.  Generally, endodontic treatment is much less expensive than the alternative of having the tooth extracted.  An extracted tooth must be replaced with a bridge or implant to restore chewing function and prevent the adjacent teeth from shifting. These procedures tend to cost more than the endodontic treatment and appropriate restoration. 

 



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